All about Deluxe Prime Oak Worktops: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
Interested in learning about our Deluxe Prime Oak worktops? Well, you’ve come to the right place; this page has all the information you’d ever need about Prime Oak and more, including the science, manufacture and sourcing of the tremendous timber used in our solid wood worktops.
Not only is oak a truly resilient and hardwearing hardwood, but it also looks wonderful in your kitchen; a truly delightful wood, oak makes for a fantastic worktop material, thanks to its warm colour and characterful grain patterns.
Deluxe Prime Oak is a little more luxurious than standard Prime Oak worktops, boasting extra-wide 90mm staves as well as an extremely even finish. If you’d like to browse examples of some of the fine pieces of Deluxe Prime Oak that have passed through the hands of our fabrication team, please visit the Deluxe Prime Oak worktop gallery.
TYPE OF WOOD AND GRAIN STRUCTURE
Other than bamboo (which is a perennial grass), all the worktops available from Worktop Express® are made from hardwood. You might expect all softwoods to be significantly less resilient than hardwoods, but in fact this isn’t always the case – some softwoods are just as sturdy.
What really sets hardwoods apart, though, is the distinctive cell structure which has a big part to play in the creation of oak’s fantastic grain pattern. All hardwoods have an important type of cell known as a vessel element, which isn’t present in softwoods. These longitudinal cells are considerably larger than neighbouring cells and leave slight caveats in the wood called pores that show up when quartersawn.
The size of these pores and their position is what gives Deluxe Prime Oak such a distinctive grain and distinguished look. Whilst our standard oak has a more coarse grain and larger pores for a more ‘rustic’ look, the wider staves for our luxury Prime Oak worktops are hand-picked for their tight, linear and more closed grain. This gives this variant a more premium feel than the standard oak worktop, and the more even colouring makes it all the more sophisticated.
The exquisite grain of our Deluxe Prime Oak worktops creates a lustrous and unblemished surface that looks right at home in both modern and more traditional kitchen designs.
SOURCING AND MANUFACTURE
Here at Worktop Express® we make great efforts to ensure that we source only the hardiest and most attractive timbers; and extensive research has led us to deduce that certain species are more suited to worktop materials (and manufacture) than others. This is why we insist that all the oak used to construct our Prime Oak worktops is sourced in Europe. Oak’s American counterpart has a sparser grain pattern and a significantly higher sap content.
We ensure the oak we use for our Prime Oak worktops is manufactured solely from FSC-certified timber and in its place of origin (Europe. By doing so, we are proudly confident that all the timber we use has the environmental benefits of encouraging sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint through reduced airmiles, whilst being both robust and attractive – perfect for our Prime Oak worktops. Do peruse our Environmental page for more information on our policies.
We are highly skilled in the sourcing and manufacture of timber worktops. Indeed, since the inception of Worktop Express® we have been proud to sell over 150,000 solid wood worktops – and have made it our policy to deal directly with the manufacturers to ensure that tight controls are in place and our high standards are met. We only obtain timber of the highest quality and have developed efficient and accurate processes to ensure minimal wastage. More details regarding this process can be found in our ’Sourcing and Manufacture’ information guide.
When choosing timber for our wide block Prime Oak worktops, we make sure that time is spent in order to select staves that are aesthetically consistent, prioritising uniformity of grain pattern and colouring. These 40mm staves are the timber sections that are joined together to create a larger wooden plank suitable for worktop construction.
Our standard worktops are constructed from individual staves which are 40mm wide, whilst our Deluxe worktops use more opulent staves of approximately 90mm wide. These 90mm staves are of varying lengths – a construction that bridges the gap between our standard worktops and full stave worktops, offering the luxury of full stave at a lower price. Moreover, the textural ‘variation’ created by extra-wide staves of varying lengths, is extremely pleasing from a visual perspective. This unique, stunning worktop construction is unique to Worktop Express®.
Each stave is high-pressure bonded and finger jointed in such a way as to create a beautifully unblemished surface that is more uniform than our standard oak worktops, without losing any of its character.
Finger joints are made by cutting a set of corresponding cut-outs into two pieces of wood so that the two staves fit together like interlocking fingers – hence the name. These joints are used in place of more basic, less aesthetically-pleasing joins, but also provide maximum durability and economy (stronger than a butt or lap joint). Glue is added to ensure the join remains solid, stable and visually appealing.
For more information, please visit our ‘Construction Types Explained’ information guide.
- Tree Size: 24-35 m tall, 1-1.5 m trunk diameter
- Density: 720 kg/m3
- Average Dried Weight: 680 kg/m3
- Janka Hardness: (4,980 N)
- Modulus of Rupture (bending strength): 97.1 MPa
- Elastic Modulus (‘stiffness’ of wood): 110.60 GPa
Over time, oak has gained notoriety for its combination of natural beauty as well as resilience against both age and the elements to become one of the most well-known tree species worldwide. It’s been recorded in British history since the interglacial periods, hundreds of thousands of years ago, and was the most common tree in our forests around 5,000 years ago, and is second only to pine today.
Carpenters and other woodworkers have used oak as the staple timber of their work since medieval times due to its hardness and durability. Even its Latin name, ‘Quercus robur’, means strength. It has been a prized hardwood timber for thousands of years and was the primary boat building material until the mid-19th century, though today it still remains popular for architecture as well as a wide range of wooden furnishings – including our Deluxe Prime Oak worktops.
If you look at the curved beams of medieval barns and hammerbeam roofs of churches and cathedrals throughout Europe, you’ll notice that oak can be shaped to fit a wide array of shapes and angles. This is possible through working with the fresh timber (known as ‘green’ oak) immediately after felling.
After the Great Fire of London in 1666, bylaws were established that prohibited the use of wood for the construction of inner-city buildings, which led carpenters and joiners to adapt their woodworking skills to meet other demands, including solid oak flooring and furniture.
According to current records, the largest oak currently standing in the British Isles is estimated at between 800 and 1000 years old and is known as the ‘Major Oak’. This resident of the infamous Sherwood Forest is estimated at 23 tons with a girth of nearly 13m.
Today, in our world of plastics and metals, oak stands out as the perfect statement of inimitability, with every single one of our oak worktops having its own unique characteristics. Superior manufacturing standards and sustainability programs ensure you’ll always get the most out of your wood, so there’s never been a better time to be able to fully appreciate oak and its innate beauty.
Worktop Express® has made great strides in reducing the price of oak and other hardwood worktops through high-volume purchasing and efficient processes. At any one time we hold over 5,000 worktops in stock at our various depots throughout the UK, enabling us to deliver directly to the public and trade, through our own in-house delivery service.
Advanced online stock ordering systems minimise the amount of dead stock and wastage, which in the long-run reduces costs. With these efficient processes and our ‘direct-to-the-public’ e-commerce model, we have been able to drastically reduce overheads to allow us to market up-to-date products at lower rates than any other solid wood e-tailer.
It’s with great pride that we are considered leaders in our field of solid wood specialists. By cutting out the middleman and building a network of expert internal support at every level of the business, we are able to deliver high-quality timber to our customers at a highly competitive price. We visit all suppliers at least every three months ourselves to ensure our high standards are maintained – we don’t use agents. All this expertise enables us to currently be the largest importers of solid wood worktops to the UK, and we will be expanding further in to European markets throughout 2014.
With such competitive prices, the quality of our Deluxe Prime Oak has to be seen to be believed – don’t just take our word for it. We offer a full range sample service so that you can test the superb quality on offer before committing to a large order. Alternatively you can visit our showroom to see our beautiful worktops in the ‘flesh’.
Available from only £230 for a 2m worktop. Matching upstands are available from just £55.
A Prime Oak block worktop is, quite simply, one of the most versatile surfaces around – and it looks splendid in any setting. We particularly recommend pairing with off-white, cream or duck-egg cabinetry; or, for a sleek modern look, try cool sage or earthy brown tones – these will sit perfectly with the even tones and luxuriously wide staves of this particular worktop.
Visit our Deluxe Prime oak worktops page for further information on how to purchase one of these stunning work surfaces.